Opinion: From our Readers - Eric Pickles will stifle democratic debate

The National Union of Journalists is becoming increasingly concerned that the attacks by Eric Pickles on 'millions spent on town hall PROs' could result in democratic accountability being undermined.

We believe the public has the right to balanced and accurate information. And while Mr Pickles says he wants to root out 'spin' and 'waste', we fear the impact of his onslaught will lead to important information about the impact of government cuts being concealed, and curtail free and open debate.

Elected national and local representatives need to communicate with those who elected them, and PROs help make this happen. Mr Pickles may see himself as a great natural communicator, but we suspect he has PROs working for him while trying to ban others from having them.

NUJ members know that most of his colleagues need professional help and advice to get their message across. Trust has to be earned.

Nic Mitchell, chair of the NUJ's PR Industrial Council (from prweek.com)

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